By Frank Meke
Having travelled and stayed in most top rated hospitality institutions, around the world, hotels in focus, grading and classification of hospitality businesses in Nigeria, takes me off the drift. Indeed, it is a serious business to grade, classify hotels and related enterprises across Nigeria which is as diverse as our culture.
Right at the hill top city of Jos and majestically announcing its luxury presence, is a 200 bed hospitality giant, not in the hue of many I had seen or stayed across Nigeria, but off a different perspective and statement of reality.
It’s sheer size and pristine location, is awesome and intimidating, spreading its wings, in a telling pride as a peacock. CRISPAN hotel sits in a city within a city, with hands stretched out, in various apartments and Presidential suits, more than a mere replication of grandiose living.
If you are the type that likes your choice of accomodation and culinary offerings, to be made bare before you, then CRISPAN is the place to be. From its massive gate, the architecture and designs, wafts through the mind, and the eyes, leading the heart to the festival of choices, non regrettable and everything, an experience.
“Sir, would you guys want to stay with us,” a pretty looking front office staff asked me as my friend and I made our way around, muttering in a excited conversation about this new Cockrow of hospitality on the Plateau.
As wont with me, searching out for Operational heads of most hotels thrills me. Why, you may ask? In this business, the hood makes the monk, take it or leave it. A hospitality outfit is not defined by its brand or name but by those behind its survival, reach and acceptance.
This business is about the manager, the vision, the passion, connections and experience. Here at CRISPAN, an Amazon, not on the lips in the industry yet but silently redefining hospitality, and keeping Jos, the Plateau state tourism capital of Nigeria, on the watch and wish list of visitors and holiday makers.
Eno Dagwor? Heard about her? Delectable, hospitable and stylist, prefers to let the services in her hotel rate her competence. With degree certificates in Business Administration and Hospitality and Tourism, Eno Dagwor nee Tom, bestride the hospitality and tourism sector, leaving behind taillights of achievements and Professionalism, deserving gold medals.
She had done profitable timeouts at Proof hotels and lounge, lekki, Lagos, Peninsula Hotels and Towers, Best Western The island hotel and Elion House Hotel, all in Lagos, outfits devoted to signature clients, with profitablity returns, incomparable to the noisy neighbors.
Eno Dagwor is also a human resource consultant, capable of sniffing out hidden hospitality talents and deploying same to Organizational growth.
Apart from her core competencies in sales and marketing, networking and strategic business relationship and clients needs evaluation, this hospitality Amazon from Akwa ibom state, married to a Plateau indigene, had trainings in Performance Management and Evaluation for Competitive Advantage, Human Resource Management Practice and Customer service Relations.
She told me, her CRISPAN hotel, is positioned in Jos as the destination and hospitality statement, adding, that clients requests and needs are top priority. ” We are not trained to turn down requests from our clients, but to meet it with smiles on our faces. Here at CRISPAN hotel everything is possible’
Eno Dagwor no doubt is an aggressive relationship power horse, a multi task force, determined to deploy the gift to change the narratives of hospitality business in the Plateau. Again,CRISPAN hotel she disclosed is the hotel to beat!! No other, no other, she muttered, flipping through the day’s occupancy brief.
Though many people express worries about the pockets of security challenges in the tourism Capital city of Jos, Mrs Eno Dagwor believes these challenges do not define the future of hospitality growth in the Center point of North Central location of the Plateau.
” We are not living in denial to these challenges, and for us at CRISPAN, tomorrow is the future and we are here to install hope and faith, for the future of a peaceful Plateau and a tourism hospitality destination yet to be fully exploited and made manifest.'” she explained to me amidst flurry of phone calls from clients and staff, a strong indication of her resourcefulness and manifest competence.
So what is the future of CRISPAN hotel?” We shall take it once at a time, from Jos, we can have a CRISPAN hospitality brand all the country, it is a possibility but we want Nigerians and foreigners to come validate this dream hospitality presence never seen anywhere around”
Meet Bolaji Oreagba: The New Helmsman at LASTMA
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has approved the appointment of Mr. Bolaji Oreagba as new General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
A statement signed by the Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, noted that the appointment of Mr. Oreagba is geared towards the continued efficient and effective traffic management on Lagos roads and takes immediate effect.
Mr. Bolaji Oreagba, a Deputy Controller (Traffic), joined the State Public Service on the 8th December 1993 and rose through the ranks over the years to the post of the Director of Operations, LASTMA, before his present appointment as General Manager.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Transport Planning & Management and has attended several capacity-building programmes on inter-modal traffic management systems locally and internationally.
Congratulating the newly appointed General Manager, Muri-Okunola urged him to justify Governor Sanwo-Olu’s confidence in his appointment by rising up to the occasion, while bringing his wealth of experience to take the Agency to greater heights.
The Head of Service also conveyed the appreciation and gratitude of Mr. Governor to the outgoing General Manager, Engr. Olajide Oduyoye, for his commitment, dedication and meritorious service to the State.
Christian Varsity Honours Security Entrepreneur, Cynthia Gregg, with Honorary Doctorate Degree for Service to Humanity
By Oki Samson
The MD/CEO of Safety Signature Ltd., Mrs. Cynthia Gregg, has been awarded a honorary doctorate degree in Church Growth and Ministry by the Ames Christian University. The ordained Deaconess and Lecturer at the Bible College of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) was honored at the annual graduation ceremony of the International College of Ministry, Ibadan on Saturday.
Dedicating the topmost educational degree to God, the security entrepreneur and philanthropist noted: ‘This is a huge responsibility placed on me to be a blessing to humanity. It will motivate me to do more to enthrone the ideals of Christ, support for the less privileged, and of course, fashion ways to ensure safety and security which is my core line of business’ in her brief chat with the Publisher of Trek Africa Newspaper, Mr. Oki Samson.
The graceful woman, who has vast experience in security operations and business management is also the Director of a chain of SME businesses into Branding, Advertising, Hospitality, HR consultancy and Business Development. With a rich resumé comprising an Executive MBA from Commonwealth of Learning, Canada and fellowships with the Institute of Security Nigeria (ISN), Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies (AES), Nigerian Institute of Industrial Security (NIIS) and National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), National Institute of Management (NIM), International Institute of Professional Security (IIPS) and many other professional bodies.
The National Assistant General Secretary of The Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) who also holds an Advanced Diploma certificate from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in Security Operations and Management started out as a journalist with Voice Of Nigeria (VON) before joining Nigerian Breweries Plc Lagos as a Sales Representative (All SKUs) was rose to the position of a Brand Manager (Amstel Malta) within a year of consistently exceeding her sales target.
She resigned to join the security industry in 2005 when she registered Safety Signatures Limited and secured a Category ‘A’ license to operate a private security company with its headquarter in Lagos and branches spreading to other states of the federation.
Marwa: Birthday Tribute to an Enigma
By Femi Babafemi
The danger of writing a tribute to any high profile personality in Nigeria today is obvious: the writer runs the risk of being misrepresented as a political praise singer, or at times, time and tide can cast him as a bootlicker, especially, if the subject of his adulation suffers a reversal of fortune, materially or reputation-wise. But with Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), OFR, you can safely write an eulogy because, you can be sure that ten years later, his stock will remain bullish. So, as he clocks 68 today, September 9, 2021, any piece of writing about him is no piece of sophistry because Marwa has been as constant as the Northern Star in the affairs of leadership, as he is presently exhibiting as the Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, where his exploits are making leadership such a fine art that gladdens the hearts of many Nigerians and international partners in this unending season of anomie.
Indeed, to those who know him up close and personal, Marwa is an enigma: humble, self-effacing, industrious, practical, efficient by nature, diligent, always thinking about things he needs to accomplish or how to get ahead on his next assignment, a complete Virgo, if you care to assess him by his Zodiac sign. But in plain terms, he is a case of a man who set out to always make a difference wherever he found himself. Not the kind of difference other men pursue to grandstand, but the type that impacts humanity and makes life easier for people. And of this, his track record is unassailable.
A look back at his trajectory gives a chronicle of exemplary service to the country and a profile of pure patriotism from an individual. He could have chosen to live his life as an ordinary soldier, or at best be content with his name in the history book as one of the ‘boys’ of military maximum rulers. But he chose a different road to travel. Borno State remembers him as the military governor who gave them peace and security at a perilous time when rebels from Chad were raiding Nigerian border communities, not unlike the ravage of Boko Haram and bandits across today’s Nigeria. A practical Marwa had shown the necessity of firm action in such grave matters by birthing Operation Yaki, a combined Joint Task Force of military formation, and in few months reined in the Bandidos from across the border, making his territory safe and secure. Lagos State also remembers him as a hero, for bringing sanity, order, peace, progress to an otherwise, chaotic near-dystopic state, groping and groaning under the siege of local and transnational robbers. Col. Marwa solved the Gordian knot with Operation Sweep. Now at the NDLEA, it is too early to talk about the Marwa Revolution, but he has orchestrated a turnaround that signals a rebirth of the anti-narcotic agency at a time when the country needs to escalate its fight against illicit drugs.
For Marwans, his exploit did not come as a surprise. Everywhere he has served, he has always left indelible marks and his first six months in the NDLEA has brought the agency from relegation and obscurity to the frontline position that has attracted both local and international partnerships. His leadership at the NDLEA is refreshing to the collective psyche of Nigerians and a loud rebuttal to the tribe of pessimists, locally and globally, who cling to the odious belief that Nigerians are incapable of effective leadership.
Thunder, it is said, doesn’t strike twice; well, in the case of Marwa, it strikes repeatedly. Nigerians used to think the height of his service was Lagos, with what is unreeling in the NDLEA, Marwa’s leadership magnum opus is perhaps yet to come. The cynical assumption that his achievements in Lagos were due to the military ecosystem of the time has fallen flat like a pack of cards with the ongoing transformation of the NDLEA. Out of Khaki, garbed in Babanriga, Marwa has been able to transmit military’s discipline, purpose-driven action and go-getting attitude to the workforce of a paramilitary organisation operating in a laissez-faire society. How he did it, is, again, the stuff of leadership.
Yet, if Borno and Lagos seem a distant memory, here before us, is what is fast becoming a locus classicus of leadership, this rejuvenation of NDLEA, which stands in sharp relief against the backdrop of the insecurity in the country. He has been one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s best appointments thus far.
Without any doubt, there is a swell in the number of students of the Marwa School of Leadership. The younger generation, who only heard of his exploits of yesteryears are now seeing evidence of management skill, and are paying attention to the lessons therein.
Right before their eyes, Marwa is teaching the anatomy of how to make an organisation relevant. Previously, NDLEA was down in the sinkhole of obscurity, but Marwa engineered a resurgence that has seen the Agency basking in the limelight for its record-breaking achievement. 8,634 arrests. 1,630 convictions. Over two million kilograms of drugs seized. Over N100 billion in cash and drugs seized. And the officers and men of the NDLEA are still rearing to go. What magic? No, magic, but a prudent application of management principles from the master of the game.
Marwa is also teaching the mechanics of how to win support for a cause as he continues to crisscross the length and breadth of Nigeria talking to communities and their leaders, about the imperative of joining forces to defeat the twin evils of illicit drug abuse and trafficking. And he’s doing a good job at it.
Another lesson from him is that thorny problems should be approached with offensive campaigns (like he has done with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA initiative and Operation Offensive Action), motivated workforces and strategic alliance with critical partners.
Today, he stands tall as a colossus, one of Nigeria’s emblems of capable leadership, an amalgam of the best of Harvard education, Nigeria’s military capabilities, and the virtues of a Nigerian. Far removed from the tribal sentiment that is fast gaining root in the country, his cosmopolitan outlook has won him friends from North, West, South and East of Nigeria, and a firm recognition as a one-of-a-kind pan-Nigerian leader.
As he clocks 68 today, Nigerians including myself have only prayers, plenty of prayers for him, wishing him many happy returns, and wishing to continue to see him in leadership positions where he can better improve the lot of the citizenry of this country.
Femi Babafemi is NDLEA’s Director of Media & Advocacy